Real Estate News
Forecasts for a slow 2016 real estate season have been greatly exaggerated.
Late last year, some financial analysts worried that a rise in the base interest rates by the Federal Reserve would trigger a reversal of fortunes in the real estate industry. Rates would rise, loans would be harder to get, houses would begin to languish on the market, and home prices would drop.
However, that turned out to not happen…at all!
Interest rates, while bumping back and forth between a few fractions of a percentage point, are still holding below 4 percent, despite the quarter percent rise in the base rate the Federal Reserve implemented in December. Continue reading
Home buyers are not waiting to see what happens with interest rates.
In what almost defies odds, despite the Federal Reserve’s decision to raise their base interest rate in December, home buyers are finding that their purchasing power is at its peak with nearly historic low interest rates.
According to a recent study, home mortgage applications jumped by nearly 9 percent in January of 2016. Borrowers are clearly seeing the advantages of acting now, rather than sitting on the fence.
And why not? Home prices on average rose 10 and a half percent in 2015. This average includes both single family homes and condominiums sold in the Santa Clarita Valley. The median price of a single family home rose 8.1 percent, while condos rose on average 12.9 percent.
I think I’m ready to buy a house. What do I do first?
The best thing to do, of course, is to contact Montemayor & Associates, and we’ll get the ball rolling to find the right lender who can let you know what your qualifying home mortgage rate and amount may be. Yes, you should do this FIRST before you begin looking at homes. Continue reading
Despite the Federal Reserve raising their interest rates, home loan prices are at an almost record low.
Interestingly enough, there was potential “doom and gloom” on the horizon as spelled out by some analysts late last year in light of the Federal Reserve’s decision to finally raise the rate they charge lenders to borrow money.
You’d think then, that mortgage rates would instantly rise as a result, right? Wrong!
In fact, 2016 has begun with home loan interest rates once again hovering near record lows. Having dropped below 4 percent, home owners, buyers, and sellers are taking advantage of what may be an “extended reprieve” from rising rates. Continue reading
Lots of economic indicators left “in the air” as we near the end of 2015 gives pause to speculation about the real estate market.
As we hurtle toward the final month of 2015, we’re seeing some interesting signs in the Santa Clarita real estate market. Interest rates, while still very low, have inched just above 4 percent, and housing prices for both condos and single family homes have leveled off.
That being said, it’s not unusual for housing prices to dip slightly in the final quarter of the year, with the summer buying season behind us and the holidays just ahead. The question still remains, however: Have Santa Clarita home prices reached their peak?
To be clear, prices have only dipped slightly between September and October of this year. The median price of a single family home still holds firm at the half million dollar mark, and condos are averaging prices in the low $300,000’s. We’re nowhere near the peak we achieved in the Spring of 2006, when single family home prices averaged $643,000 before they began to fall at the outset of the recession which began a year later. Continue reading
Mortgage rates will hold steady for the time being.
Slow economic growth over the summer has motivated the Federal Reserve to remain cautious, holding off on
proposed rate hikes for now.
National Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew slower than expected over the summer. As such, the Fed has made plans to raise the rate of money borrowed by lending institutions in an effort to stave off runaway inflation, based on higher economic projections that have yet to be met.
Good News For Home Buyers
Interest rates have held at under 4 percent for the bulk of past year. As of the date of this article, mortgage interest rates are as follows:
- 30 year fixed-rate mortgage: 3.87%
- 15 year fixed-rate mortgage: 3.15%
- FHA 30 year fixed: 3.60%
- Jumbo 30 year fixed: 3.67%
- 5/1 fixed adjustable rate mortgage: 2.93%
Single family home sales up nearly 16 percent from 2014.
The median price of single family homes in the SCV rang in at $523,000 in August, up 2.7 percent from the previous month, and nearly 7 percent from the previous year.
Condos fell only slightly in August, but are still strong year over year, with median equity increasing by 14 percent from August of 2014.
These numbers reflect continued positive growth in our economy, as well as interest rates still holding at historically low levels. We can also attribute the rise in prices to the still relatively low number of available homes for sale in the Santa Clarita Valley. There was a reported 675 active listings in the SCV at the end of August, which is about half of what would be considered a “balanced” market. Continue reading
Should I accept, reject, or counter the very first offer on my home?
So you’ve made the decision to sell your home. You have it listed, and your agent provided you with comparables and information that, from a professional approach, will sell your home quickly and at Fair Market Value. After all, you have your eye on a home in Westridge that you REALLY hope you can purchase once your home gets into escrow. Everything is going great. Even better, two days after your home hit the Multiple Listing Service, you receive an offer!
Suddenly, you begin to second-guess yourself and your Realtor. “Wait. That was TOO quick,” you say to yourself. “Maybe we should have listed it for more money.”
This thought process unfortunately leads many sellers into the trap of self-doubt, leading to a listing that ends up sitting way too long on the market because they decided to reject their first offer for fear they did not ask for a high enough selling price. So what should a seller do when confronted with a quick offer? When should they accept, reject, or counter? Let’s take a look at some solutions.
“Know when to hold ’em. Know when to fold ’em…”
The popular song performed by Kenny Rogers referred to the game of Poker, but in the case of real estate, there are some definite signs as to when you should accept, reject, or counter the buyer’s offer.
Beware the “low-ball” offer.
This is an almost always unsuccessful tactic from buyers who have not been properly educated by their agent as to how the home selling process works. In this case, they try to “haggle” by making a ridiculously low offer, typically WAY below asking price. This is a situation where you may consider countering their offer at a price you feel is fair, or you can reject it outright.
When to reject vs. counter.
In any situation, a buyer’s offer that does not come without at least a loan pre-qualification letter is usually a red flag. Not only is he/she offering a price way below Fair Market Value, but you don’t even know if they can afford to purchase the home.
Another red flag is in the form of very little, or no, good faith deposit from the buyer. Again, this may be indicative of how serious they actually are about buying your property.
The “Asking Price” offer.
If an offer comes in very quickly from a buyer for your home at asking price, don’t second-guess yourself! You have reached this price through the diligence and professional opinion of your real estate agent who has used (and shown you) recent comparables, title information, and demographics to come up with a price he/she knows will help you reach your real estate goals. Of course, the above rules still apply. You will want to make sure the buyer can actually afford to purchase the home, and that they are willing to put down enough of a good faith deposit to make you feel comfortable that they won’t back out before escrow closes.
We are your Santa Clarita real estate professionals!
Montemayor & Associates is a team of highly trained, experienced, licensed Realtors who are ready to serve all of your home buying and selling needs. Contact us today for a no obligation consultation.Email Contact Form
Rumors that The Federal Reserve may raise interest rates have not affected the market…yet.
The market is in pretty good shape at the moment, with the recent jobs numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics bolstering confidence along many financial lines. Of course, this confidence may eventually lead an increase in inflation; something the Federal Reserve would like to avoid.
So how do we curb inflation as the nation’s economy improves? Many signs point to raising the base rate at which banks borrow money. In essence, this move trips a proverbial “breaker switch” with businesses and financial institutions, causing them to rethink their decisions on raising prices on goods and services. That being said, even a slight push upward in Federal rates will have an impact on the real estate market, even if it’s only temporary. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen has hinted that rates may rise as early as September. Continue reading
New development promises sustainable community and business center with a plan for 1100 homes for SCV residents.
It’s the 21st century. While we don’t quite have the “Jetson” lifestyle with flying cars and apartment complexes in the sky, we do have smart phones,
electric and hybrid cars, and developments that provide a community-centric place for residents to live and work, while being environmentally friendly.
On July 9th, groundbreaking began on a new development that is truly a sign of the times. Located near the east end of the Santa Clarita Valley at Lost Canyon, Vista Canyon will provide a mix of 1100 homes that will include apartments as well as single family homes. The true selling point is that Vista Canyon will be a mixed community that provides a truly immersive experience for those who wish to live within walking distance of work. Innovative and ambitious with the future in mind, this community will also dedicate 1 million square feet of space to retail, dining, businesses, and hotels. Continue reading
Lower interest rates over the past few years have saved homeowners a lot of money, but how long will it last?
For the past several years, the Federal Reserve has aided the real estate community by maintaining the rate at which banks buy their money at nearly zero. To be clear, this is the starting wholesale point for lenders who borrow money from the Federal banks, and not the borrow rate for home buyers.
That being said, these low interest rates have helped maintain the real estate market through the worst of the most recent economic recession, and many claim that this strategy was one that staved off a major real estate collapse.
The Pros of Low Interest Rates
Of course, it sounds like we’re stating the obvious. Low interest rates are ALWAYS a good thing, right? It helps borrowers increase their purchasing power when buying a home, and allows homeowners the opportunity to refinance their mortgages at a lower rate. This saves both buyers and refinancers a ton of money over the long term. A win-win, right? Continue reading